Sunday, April 3, 2011

2 years post op!

2 years down, none more to go!

It's been 2 years since my ACL reconstruction surgery, and I'd say mission accomplished! I'm back to 100% (knock on wood) and feeling good about my leg. The past year I've been playing ultimate frisbee 3 nights a week and 1 night of personal training. I feel I still need PT to keep all the muscles in my legs/knee strong. The workouts target both legs (no preference for the acl leg)

Some various events in the past year:
  • The tingling in my foot came back and this time didn't want to go away. Turns out it has nothing to do with my acl, but a condition in my foot called "XYZ". Not sure what it's called, but the doc gave me some special pads to put in my shoes and a month later it hasn't returned. The reason this cropped up is (as my doctor put it) "because you're doing so much running". So chances are all the ultimate and training put extra stress on my foot.
  • Large tennis ball sized numbness on my surgical leg is still there, and is probably permanent.
  • Inner quad on my surgical leg is 98% the size of my good leg. I've put a ton of work into getting there and I feel it's "good enough".
  • I haven't noticed much knee soreness even with all the activities. Both knees get sore on various days, but it's not common. I assume being almost 32 is more likely the cause =)
  • Playing ultimate at a competitive level now.
Goals going forward:
  • Don't tear ACL.
  • Watch my weight. This may seem odd considering I'm a lightweight, but due to part of my meniscus being removed and various bone bruises, I've been told I'll get arthritis at some point in my life. Every doctor says a different date (10 years, 15 years, 30 years). I can't stop it from happening but I can delay it. I can 1) Stop playing sports 2) keep muscles strong 3) keep my weight low. Since #1 is out and I'm doing #2, #3 is the only thing left.
  • Don't tear ACL
I've decided not to tryout / play for a touring team, as I feel it'd be too much strain on my knee cartilage. But to be honest, I'm very happy with where I am now and hope to continue playing ultimate until my legs fall off!



23 comments:

Summer said...

Congrats! Sounds like you're doing awsome, and can you believe it's been TWO years?! I wish you the best in meeting those goals, espeically... Don't Tear ACL!!

Jared said...

nice to see your two year update. I remember your one year update well because I was just a few days out of my surgery. Now I am a year out and everything is still not perfect (one additional surgery to clean out the scar tissue), but things are coming along nicely. I hope you continue to keep your legs strong and never experience a major injury again.

Andrew said...

Thanks!

I can't believe it's been 2 years. I was shocked when it was 1 year since my last post. Time flies! (although not when you're waiting for surgery)

Hope you guys are doing well too!

Mireille said...

It's very encouraging to hear you're playing a lot of Ultimate again. I'll be starting with once a week and am crossing my fingers that things will go well.

It's all downhill after 30... ;) I'm thinking that is why my good knee is sore these days!

candise said...

My name is Candise and I am a surgical technology student. I have been looking at blogs of people who have had to endure and recover from surgery to help me to understand patients better. I believe this will make me a better health care provider.

I have truly enjoyed your story and I am so excited for you to be playing ultimate Frisbee again. It must be so exciting. I am truly wishing you all the best. By the way, I love the "no midnight snacking or no morning tequila shots."

Thanks for sharing your story and your pictures!

Candise
Student, Baker College

Andrew said...

Your welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

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Daria said...

Hi there. I too had ACL surgery 2 years ago. All in all I feel good - I would say my leg is at about 85-90% as compared to the other. The one thing though is that I still have a very numb knee. Wasn't sure if this was normal or not but it seems you have some of that as well. Sometimes mine is more numb than at other times, but there is always some amount of numbness present. I am able to play tennis 2x a week and do pilates which I think have continued to strengthen my leg. Nice to read your blog.
-DFL

Unknown said...

hi.. im azre villarico from philippines. i had acl reconstruction last april 18, 2012 on my left knee, the problem is that i cant raise up my ankle. is it because of swelling?

Katie Conklin said...

This is a great story! I am a 16 year old girl, and tore my ACL playing soccer in september, and was cleared for practice at the end of april. At my fourth practice back, I cut to the left and tore my ACL yet again in the same knee. I am 7 weeks into the surgery, and I decided to blog about it this time! I was wondering if there was any chance you could put my link onto your blog or post it or advertise it in some way? It would be awesome if you could, but if not, thats okay too! Thanks so much!

http://aclplainandsimple.blogspot.com/

Andrew said...

I'm sorry to hear about your double acl knee. Summer 'Knee'd to know blog' will be going through the same thing shortly. Hopefully you'll both have success!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your recovery! I have recently tore my acl, MCL and lateral and medial meniscus. I've heard so many horror stories about the knee never being the same but your blog has given me a little bit of hope. I will have surgery this Friday. I hope I can have thesame results you had. My passion is bodybuilding and was concerned about my squatting form. I used to be able to go well below parallel to the floor. Not sure if you still read these comments but if so from your experience is it plausible for me to reach that level again?

diaryofagimpykid25 said...

Hey! Congrats on your recovery. I play ultimate too but Tore my ACL in November and had surgery 2 months ago. I miss ultimate but my PT says I will be ready to play fall league. A question I am struggling with is having a brace. I didn't wear a brace after surgery at all but since it's my left leg, which is my pivot foot, I'm nervous about that. Did you do a brace upon returning to ultimate?

http://diaryofagimpykid25.wordpress.com/

chan0909 said...

Hi there hope this blog is not dead. I had a hamstring graft and was able to bend 110 unassisted by week one and had 0 extension right out of op. By week 5 I still did not have much improvement. Flexion was 130 unassisted and extension still 0. Pt is not at all concerned about my lack of progress. I'm not very concerned about flexion but more of my weak legs. going 6 weeks post op I only had 4 short pt that lasted for longest 45 mins. Not much of exercises given. Still doing simple exercises like leg lift, mini wall squats and step ups. as I'm usually worn out by the time I reach the place where I'm suppose to have my pt. My pt refuse to give me more exercises. Just wondering if it would be safe for me to attempt to do more strengthening exercises on my own. DId you require alot of guidance by your pt last time when you were doing your exercises? Any advice would be of great help. Until now I still have difficulty straightening my leg completely when walking.
-Chan

Andrew said...

@diaryofagimpykid25

I never wore a brace after returning to ultimate, and never had a problem pivoting. One thing to make sure of is that you are pivoting off your toes... always have your heel in the air.

Cheers

Andrew said...

@Chan

It's good to have full extension, as that is the more important of the two. I've never had full flexion since surgery, and it hasn't affected me much.

Regarding exercises. Always listen to your physio, but one thing to keep in mind is that since you had the hamstring graft, it'll take a bit longer before you can do do serious exercises. I think I was cleared to do personal training at 4 months and free to do whatever.

It's a slow process but keep in mind, you only want to do it once =)

Good luck!

Robert Wilhelmson said...

Great to read your blog for inspiration that you can get back to sport after surgery. Just had my ACL surgery yesterday. Recording my own progress in a blog - ACL Hamstring Graft Surgery and Recovery

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm a year post op. I have not returned to my sport soccer as my knee doesn't feel like my 'good' knee. I've been discharged from physio due to quad strength being pretty much equal. The biggest difference is doing a one leg squat on my acl knee is much much harder than my other. I just wandered if you could describe how your knee felt when making your decision to return to sport.

Thanks and great blog

Alex

Silvie said...

Alice sent me the link and I just read your whole blog. Your positive outlook and commitment to getting better was inspiring. All the details on your recovery makes me less afraid of the recovery experience. Thank you for sharing!

Robert Burke said...

This is a great success story! I always remind my patients that physical therapy is a major part of their ACL recovery. That's great that you are continuing your PT sessions, but also enjoying sports like ultimate frisbee. Great blog!

Laiba Noor said...

In the case of women, there is a strength imbalance, Their front thigh (quadriceps) muscles are stronger than rear thigh muscles (hamstrings). The hamstrings help to prevent shinbone from moving too far forward during sports activities in normal. Women may land while jumps from high in a position that increases stress on their ACL Anterior Cruciate Ligament Anterior Cruciate Ligament